Friday 22nd October 2021

My Typical Day. 2018.48.

My Typical Day. 2018.48.

Now that we are in our fourth year of living on the NSW Central Coast in full-retirement mode, I thought it might be a good idea to share what my typical day is like.

Be aware, of course, that “no two days are the same”, so this is a snapshot of last Friday!

Before I start, I shall remind my readers about what I did BEFORE (first) retirement in 2003.

I wrote a blog post called: My Morning as a School Principal here. Most readers tired out by the end as they read through. I know I did as I lived it! I was a school principal in a relieving capacity for some years and got my own position as Principal in this school in 1999:

The School Where I was Principal. 1999-2003.

From 2003 until we left Sydney in 2015 I worked part-time: some roles in K-6 schools, another in my business as an Education Specialist helping families prepare for school, and as a University Pre-Service Co-ordinator and Tutor to Masters’ Students. I really did like using my education experience and knowledge to help others. I reluctantly ceased all paid (and voluntary roles) in 2015 as caring for my emotional health became my priority

All gone…students…late Friday afternoon. Final Tutorial for the week.

We also cared for four of our grandchildren on some days of the week when I was not working. We did this from 2007 until the end of 2014. It was a joy, delight, privilege and exhausting. But I would not have swapped it for anything.


I am leading up to this: It has been very challenging for me to come to terms with the notion of planning my own days and enjoying them. It truly has. It might sound funny but when you have been used to a life-long career and caring for family and they are no longer responsibilities suddenly: I get to decide what to do with MY DAY.


My husband and I do some things together but generally we give each other the space to determine what’s on that day.

Friday 1 June 2018.

  • 8.00. a.m. Cool start to the day, stay in bed for a bit, then rise and stay in night attire aka nightie and delighted that today’s Sydney Morning Herald has been home delivered THIS time. We have been here for almost 2 months, and gave plenty of notice for change of address but delivery is inconsistent. I am so sick of complaining Fairfax subs now rings me to see  if “we got the paper.”
  • 8.30. a.m. One load of washing on (thanks to husband – we share washing duties) and another awaits. Rainy looking day so we determine some of the load will be air-dried on covered terrace, others in the drier.
  • 9.00. a.m. Eat my 2 weetbix and milk as I read the Herald. Ah bliss. The time is just the best. What I do NOT miss from working was a quick read of the front page and then off to school! As far as breakfast is concerned I have NEVER been a cereal eater (always toast and tea) until I had my mouth reconstructions and now, it is one of my faves. Who knew!!
  • 10.00 a.m. Somewhere in this morning time, before getting dressed, I will check emails and social media. As Friday is not a link up day I will not be ‘as busy’.
  • 10.30.a.m. Ablutions, decisions made on outfit of the day – determined by the weather AND activity. Today it is cold/rainy and I want to go to local shopping centre as it is under cover (for coffee, not for parking). Photo taken outside in between raindrops and away I go.

  • 10.45- noon. With no reason to rush or complete chores at the shops today, I browse and enjoy some people watching. After a 3/4 double shot latte (no food today, it is too hard to eat in public just now) I mosey into Millers and come out with some specials. LOVE saving some money on clothes. In fact, I have not paid full price for a long time. So many shops with so many every day specials.
  • noon – 1.p.m. I admit, lunch is a hard meal to determine and I end up with crumpets and honey. I cannot bite into them but I can get a piece in my mouth, soften and move it around and swallow.
  • 1.00 p.m. Check social media. Upload my three instagram photos for today and comment on others I follow:
  1. An Outfit of The Day pic – see above
  2. A noticing nature pic – made this ‘about my cancer’ – i.e. part of nature, right? I want people to know how common this cancer is.
  3. A creative photo. This one heralds the start of the 61 day creative challenge I have been part of since 2013.

  • From Jan 1 2018, to give me routine and a challenge each day I said I would post the above photos and I have stuck to this. For me, routine is important even in a more loosely organised day like mine now.
  • 2.00 p.m.- 4.00 pm
  • Check washing and as it is cold, bring it inside.
  • Do a little bit of art – adding colour to a very large A4 collage I have designed.
  • Have a cup of soup and eat the inside of a yellow kiwifruit with a teaspoon.
  • Read a Good Weekend from a few weeks back.
  • Some social media scrolling.
  • Think about my dinner. My husband sorts his own meals. It’s been that way for a long time. Once I am eating with teeth again, I hope this changes.
  • Take one of my many made-for-me frozen meals from the freezer and contemplate what else I might have tonight. Add two savoury  muffins that I can eat bit by bit from the insides. This is another reason I find it hard to eat in front of anyone – it’s pretty messy!
  • 4.00 pm.- 6.15 pm.
  • Check computer for blog comments and emails.
  • Do some more art
  • Get my camera gear sorted as I may take the camera tomorrow because of the rough sea conditions.
  • Read more of “Laughing At Cancer”… and an definitely nodding my head in agreement so far.
  • Watch the last 5 minutes of Millionaire Hot Seat (to see if the person wins) and then watch the first 15 minutes of the local News. NBN.
  • 6.15 p.m. – shower and bed by around 7.30 these days! We sleep in separate rooms and watch our own TVs as we have completely different tastes in shows. I am also ready for bed by this time, even if I do not sleep. Body gets tired more! I am often up and down though – make a cuppa, find something I can ‘dip’ into it and chat to husband (who, most inconvenienced by this, has to remove his headphones to do so. I try not to do this much!! Of course, I often multi-task – or switch TV off – and scroll through the Ipad or play a mindless game or two.
  • 11.00 p.m. lights out..for me, and maybe listen to something soothing as I drift off to sleep.

And that, dear readers, is my typical day (at home). A day including a trip to Sydney for various reasons is obviously a lot different as is one where I may have appointments or decide to go for a drive to the beach.

What did Friday 1 June 2018 look like for you?


On Tuesday this posts links with Kylie here

On Wednesday this post links with Sue and Leanne here

On Thursday this post links with Leanne here.






  1. Something that most of us wouldn’t think about is eating in public after all your operations and waiting to heal. It is such a natural thing to do that most of us wouldnt think about it

    • That is so true Nat! But today I broke through the barrier and had a part of a scone with jam and cream along with a coffee in front of someone (not my family) so I did well. No stopping me now ha!

      Denyse x

  2. Friday 1st I was at work at 7.20am to finish preparing for a meeting at 8am. But I did get to leave at 3pm which was nice. I actually think Friday is when I started getting this bug I have now so early mark was welcomed.

    And don’t get me started on late Friday tutorials. You’d think the sky was falling in some days…

    • The things you need to do for others…and in your job no-one notices what you have done until maybe it is “not done”. You know what I mean.

      Those Friday tutes till 6 pm were not so hard on me in some ways as I usually had one before it so I needed to change rooms and that was OK. But the adults who were the students could be like the ‘worst class ever’….sleeping, eating loudly and sharing stuff amongst themselves. Eventually ‘they got it’ and they were there to learn!! One student ended up being a teacher at my grandkids’ school…that was an interesting encounter!!

      Denyse x

  3. I love day in the life of posts. Friday for me? It’s not a corporate work day so…
    5.45am Alarm goes off
    6am In the car & down to the beach for my walk and coffee
    7.45 am Home for shower & brekky (scrambled eggs made by hubby)
    8am- 9.30 am Catch up on social media, comment on lovin life linked blogs
    10- 12.30 Novel writing at the Surf Club
    Home for lunch (vegie soup)
    We had visitors for the weekend so I spent the afternoon cooking lasagne, giving the house a clean, making up the spare beds, baking a batch of cookies & some more work on the book.
    5.30-6.30 Reading time
    7pm date night dinner at the local club (Sarah at uni late)
    8.30 pm in bed watching netflix

    • Cosy end to your day…and my goodness that IS an early start but in your part of the world so worth it.
      Loved reading about your Friday.

      Seems like a nice way to slide into the weekend as well.

      I hope your family visit went better than expected!!

      Denyse x

      • Thanks Denyse. It went really well…& now Mum & Dad even know how to read my blogs!

        • That must feel so good. Finally! It took you moving away to get closer…if you know what I mean.

          My Dad does not have a computer nor internet access but at times I will send him some of my posts – the recent ones relating to the One Year Since Cancer Diagnosis for example – as he is a reader and likes to catch up that way.

          Denyse x

  4. Sounds like a full but relaxed day! 1st June was actually my husbands birthday, so I was working during the day and then we went out for dinner with his family at night 🙂

    • It has a nice pace to it, Bella!

      That is what I know I need. A bit of this and that for balance.

      Happy Belated Birthday to your hub. Glad it was a dinner celebration after your working day.

      Denyse x

  5. it’s funny, as Sophie has headed off to school this year, I find myself in a similar dilemma of having my days entirely to myself (between 9-2), it’s been a difficult transition that I need to figure out how to make better use of the time available.

    Thank you for sharing your day!

    • It is true about your need to plan for and get used to that ‘free time’ but it gets gobbled up so quickly doesn’t it?

      I hope you get your time sorted. It does take some planning…I know…and the hardest bit is not to be distracted! Social Media is my culprit!

      Denyse x

  6. I love a good day in the life post and enjoyed the sneak peek into your day! On Friday 1 June I said goodbye (for now) to my mum and headed north to Newcastle to see the outlaws! Not my usual Friday, that’s for sure!

    • Thanks Sammie. Really enjoying your pics and updates from the Mother Land. Hope all is well and that things continue to go smoothly too.

      Denyse x

  7. What a lovely blessing a day with your grandchildren is! The crafting looked like fun.

    • It certainly was and I miss those times but when they visit every so often now I usually have something crafty to do. Last time they decorated some beach pebbles I collected for them. Thank you for visiting today! Denyse x

  8. Retirement from paid work doesn’t mean you aren’t a busy lady!!

    • Seems I find it ‘hard to stop’ but I am soooo much better at me-time than ever so that is the biggest win!!

      Denyse x

  9. It was lovely to read about your typical day Denyse. I envy you getting up around 8am. I have a tendency to wake way too early – like 4-5am. Once I’m awake, my bladder demands I go to the toilet and then that’s it. I cannot get back to sleep again no matter how hard I try. So I’m up in the cold and dark most mornings. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays my alarm is set for 5:30am anyway – to get to a 6:30am pilates class. More often than not I wake before the alarm. I hope I can sleep in to a more reasonable hour again one day! xo

    • Ah Min, I hope that you can find some more peace of time inside (I know what it is like as you are going through some really challenging times) then you will steadily sleep in that bit longer. It is our active brains that are to blame. I am often awake at midnight before time to turn off the light. I have in recent times with more surgery on my mind noticed waking more early than I like so I listen to a podcast in bed. Seems to help.
      I think your work via mindfulness will continue to influence you too. It takes a long time and it is undoing so many old ways.

      Denyse x

  10. Look at that adorable school! How did you ever manage to leave? That photo makes it look so cute.

    In other news, yes! My Mother retired once (she has since returned to full-time work) and she was HORRIBLE at it. Maybe she just needed more hobbies, but I tell you, that woman is the worst at sitting still. Haha.

    • Well cute that building might have been but in the end my health determined my early departure.

      I was running a big school with special needs classes and under-staffing with no real executive team to help me did me in. I was stretched far too thin and I ‘broke’. I am well and truly over what that did to me emotionally – 16 years ago now – but it was a sad way to end that long career of mine.

      I do get what your Mum is like. I have had to make myself ‘stay’ and read or scroll for a while. I am now over the ‘must get busy/look busy thing’ but it takes a while!!!

      Denyse x

  11. It’s funny how we don’t think we’ve done much in our day, but when you break it down like this, it is very full indeed. You seem to cover a lot of little interesting interludes Denyse and I think that’s the secret to staying interesting and engaged once we stop work. I’m down to 2 days a week of work and fill my other days with various activities – but I try to keep Thurs as my “at home” day and I think it’s my favourite day of the week!

    Thanks for linking up with us at #MLSTL and I’ve shared this on my SM xx
    Leanne |

    • It is a good plan to look at what you do. Mind you I have needed to train myself to “be” more than “do” as I was so hung up on achievement. It still happens and that will be when I might bake or cook meals or get outside in the garden.

      I am glad you have an at home day. Everyone needs one of those.

      Very balanced approach I think!

      Denyse x

  12. Hi Denyse lovely to have you link up with us at #MLSTL. I am like you and found it difficult to know how to fill my days when my MIL went to aged care and Ethan went to kindy full time. I think I am still coming to terms with the idea that it is okay to have some days where I don’t have to do anything if I don’t want to. I love structure so it can be a test for me to go with the flow. have a great week! xx

    • Thank you Sue. Oh I am sorry that Ethan is missing his special time with you. I didn’t realise that had stopped. Yes, we need to be not only ‘busy’ in some respects but ‘needed’ too. That was the hardest thing for me to live through in 2015 after we left Sydney. My Grandma role was no longer needed.

      Fortunately life has taught me lots of lessons since then and I am very grateful for the wonderful memories of caring for 7 out of 8 grandkids from 1997 until 2014 at various times. We have a rock-solid relationship with them even if we see them far less frequently. That is OK too.

      The structure of my day is built around the 3 habits I made myself follow for Instagram but more about accountability to self: outfit pic = going out, seeing people, coffee and engaging where I can, creative pic = some time to create and produce for others to see, nature pic = taking myself outside or to a place of nature.

      It has probably taken me 2 year to get used to that idea of doing something or nothing. I am also lucky that whilst my husband is at home full-time we are very independent of each other. We get our own meals (more by necessity since cancer) and we have different interests. But we come together each evening sitting together for a cuppa and a chat too.

      Wishing you well!

      Denyse x

  13. I love this idea of sharing a typical day. I think it might be an interesting series to share a “typical” day for each of the four seasons… and then see how they change throughout the years. GREAT post!

    • Thank you so much! Yes I like your idea too. In Australia our seasons are not extreme but the hours of daylight certainly change. We now have daylight saving from early October to early April in each of the states bar two.

      I am glad you popped in and commented today!

      Denyse x

  14. As someone that is contemplating retirement in the next few years, I found it interesting to read a “typical” day in your life. My Friday started at 4:45 a.m. with a shower, meditation, light stretching, writing and eating breakfast, then off to work by 7:15 a.m. I worked at a desk most of the day with a few meetings in between. I did sneak off at lunch to get my nails done. I left work for the day at 4:00 and met my husband and his family to celebrate his mother’s 91st birthday! We were home by 8:00. I changed into my comfy clothes and we watched television until about 10:30, by which time I was ready for bed. (Pretty exciting life, huh?) 🙂

    • I loved reading your day Christie! Busy yes but with quite a bit of variation. Oh how nice it is to come home and get comfy! I remember that well.

      Thank you for sharing your day. I admit it has been ‘hard’ to manage my day so I did not feel bored or sad about things. This year doing things like I am has given me purpose and time out as I need it.

      I do still get a bit ‘stuck’ on the notion “I should be doing something constructive right now”.

      Transitioning to retirement is a help I believe. I did this and it was less of a shock to my system.

      Best wishes to you and that is an awesome birthday to celebrate.

      Denyse x

  15. I really enjoyed this insight into your life right now, Denyse. You are so positive and creative in being able to bring joy into your daily life as it throws you challenges relating to your treatment.

    SSG xxx

    • Oh thank you. It was not until I went to make note of it that I realised it does hum along quite nicely now and my treatment days at Westmead are usually 2 weeks apart so I can plan around them. Last week’s attendance twice in one week was the exception.

      I am pleased now to finally be able to see my day is not all about ‘cancer’ but is about ‘living with the results of cancer’ and making the most of what I can right now. Still longing for teeth though!!!!

      Denyse x

  16. My days are such a jumble of doing next to nothing. I do what I call piddle. Start laundry, work on the blog read other blogs time passes it is lunch time and the next thing I know it is dinner time. I piddle my days away. lol

    • Oh I do have days like that too. It would be interesting for you to take note, should you choose to, because I reckon you are doing well with your time!!

      Denyse x

  17. It’s funny as I just spoke to my aunt and uncle (over brunch yesterday) about the whole: being unemployed vs being retired thing.

    For me there’s a huge difference as when you’re retired it’s not like you’re SUPPOSED to be doing something else. It still takes some getting used to though I suspect and hard to not feel as if there are things you should be doing.

    My mum hasn’t worked for about 20yrs (she had to retire early to be my dad’s carer) and I know she still makes excuses sometimes for having a daytime nap etc… when I try to remind her that her time is her own.

    • That is so true and I can understand Mum being like that still. Old habits take a long time to leave if they ever do.

      I thought I did the transitioning from full-time to part-time well, then reducing what I did from the part-time roles to then leaving almost all of the paid ones.

      It did come home to me well and truly in around mid 2015 when we had already moved, stopped the grandkids’ care and my small consultancy work….that “I was no longer in any role”.

      That hit hard (and as a long time reader/friend you know this).

      I think it is within us all to have purpose. One of the main reasons I dress each day and go somewhere is for that very reason.

      You sure are in betwixt and between mode now and I hope that you can bring some sort of ease to your concerns about the job continuing (not sure if you want that anyway) or finding new work. It was the bet you took when the other employer would not let you have leave. Grrr.

      Denyse x

  18. Sounds like the kind of day I really enjoy! Friday the 1st of June was all about getting as much work as possible done and preparing for my photoshoot I had the next day. The furniture shoot starts this week and so it was good to get as much done last week as I could so I hopefully won’t have to jump on the computer when I get home at 8pm each night!

  19. So good to know the work you are getting is both creative and fun. My eldest GD is in her final year at Australian Film Television and Radio School and, despite her chrohns disease, is out all hours making film. She has been part of a writing, pitching and making a short film to ‘sell’ to the people at AFTRS as part of her assessment. I hope she find work when she is done, they seem like they are very good at helping the students after graduation. My other GD (mentioned her before) has moved to the snowys with her bf and they are working and living together for at least the 6 months of the ski season. She has still be taking pics in this beautiful place, but only with her phone. Camera is missing its connection cable.
    Have a great few weeks ahead. You will be in your element!